The Longer Way Forward



Comments (5)

Comment Feed

At this Point it Appears

I would say at this point it appears some variation of the Traditional Plan will be adopted and I believe it represents the majority.

Skipper 2 days ago

Disconnected Leadership and Boards

the leadership and boards continue to resist traditional Methodism and the will of the majority. The General Conference is coming and hopefully reflect the rank and file.

Skipper 3 days ago

Why I like responding to these posts

They help me distill my thinking! The Problem with the United Methodist Church that makes it a dysfunctional mess is that it has become a boiling pot of theological chaos topped off with a leadership that is not only disconnected from the grassroots it is trying to lead, but is also no longer responsive to the will of General Conference, the only thing designated to speak on behalf of the whole church.

betsy 6 days ago

Disconnected leadership

"[The One Church Plan is ] the plan supported by a majority of bishops, as well as the bureaucracy of the denomination; namely, its boards and agencies.
"However, the divorce, a long time coming, is already here.
"...The UMC desperately needed leadership as the split began to surface decades ago, but that leadership was absent. Too late to fix it now."

Chris Ritter once pointed out that General Conference is where ivory tower leadership and grassroots reality come together. For too long, Bishops and agency leaders have been working with blinders on when it comes to the grassroots. In this day of social media I have been stunned how disconnected Bishops are from the reality of who it is they are trying to lead as well as what has happened to every other Mainline Protestant Denomination that has tried a variation of the One Church Plan: a chunk of the grassroots did not want to go where the Leadership tried to lead. My greatest problem with any Traditional Plan is that to succeed leadership would have to do what it has not done for decades: subject itself to the will of General Conference. The American United Methodist Church has become a theological free for all. We are no longer a fellowship of believers in the same God. Everybody--from the grassroots up--is working from their own perception of who God is, who we are and what we are supposed to be doing. My biggest problem with the One Church Plan is not that it legitimizes a "new and improved" sexuality ethic which I do find problematic but that is not what I view as the fatal flaw. The fatal flaw in the One Church Plan is that it legitimizes the theological chaos which has resulted in totally different understandings of sexuality. The fatal flaw in the One Church Plan is that it leaves the church saying that God does and does not sanction same gender unions. I do not believe that God is indecisive or double minded. I believe that God created this world and everything in it with a single intent of how it is to function. I believe that Christianity is about living within the parameters God set forth. If we disagree on those parameters, then we become an ineffective church; something that I believe 50 years of uninterrupted numerical decline points to. Who wants to be part of anything that has no clue who it is and what it is it needs to be doing?

betsy 6 days ago

Disconnected leadership reply

Well stated.

Lee Cary 3 days ago

Notable Quotes   

     “While I could fully understand the informal complaints about Sessions, and though I didn’t expect much success for the formal complaint...I don’t understand the rationale for the dismissal of the complaint. ‘Political actions are not personal conduct’? What’s that supposed to mean? What’s the basis in Scripture for that statement? I know nothing in our Book of Discipline that bifurcates personal behavior from public, politically motivated behavior. Whatever happened to, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings' (Acts 5:29)?

– Retired Bishop Will Willimon, a Duke Divinity School professor, in a response to Christianity Today's article "Do Methodists Have a Case Against Jeff Sessions?"

     “A number of our men over the years have been heavily engaged in ‘social justice’ issues, especially in cities like Milwaukee and Detroit. Many of our men tend to lean toward the Democratic Party in terms of politics, due to the kinds of issues that Democrats seem to support. One issue among Christians in general is abortion and ‘right to life.’ This causes some dilemmas for some of us because, to hear some Christians talk, you can hardly be a Christian and vote Democratic because of that one issue: abortion. And yet, for some of us, there are so many aspects of the issue of ‘life’ that we cannot narrow our vision to that one issue. There are all the other things around supporting of human life, such as ecology, health care, the military and use of weapons, education, food and hunger issues, etc.”

– The Rev. Tom Zelinski, a Capuchin Franciscan quoted in the Washington Post's "Acts of Faith" newsletter.


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